While people were still gushing over Kobe's streak of unprecedented selfishness coming to an end, the Bobcats 107-113 OT loss to the Nets on Saturday was actually quite watchable, mainly because Charlotte's derelict squad of cast-offs completely played their asses off.
Let me set the stage: The Bobcats went into this weekend playing their 3rd game in 4 days and were already missing half of their rotation due to injury (Okafor, Felton, Gerald Wallace and Sean May). Brevin Knight and Matt Carroll were matched up against the best backcourt in the East (Jason Kidd and Vince Carter). And, with playoff positioning at stake, the Nets would be pulling no punches against this dilapidated bunch. This had the makings of an NBA snuff film. And Charlotte's performance was a page from Rocky I: facing insurmountable odds, the mildly retarded underdog gives 110% and overachieves in every conceivable fashion..only to lose anyway.
Charlotte's defense was still softer than frozen yogurt, but that didn't help the Nets' cause. Kidd and Jefferson had a disastrous shooting night, and most of their shots came from the Bobcats zone giving them uncontested 20-footers from the corners. Who says you need defenders to play defense? One-time fringe players Matt Carroll and Alan Anderson's combined 39 was outdone by Vince Carter's 40. The difference being is that Carroll and Anderson can't play D, and Vince just doesn't.
Until this past week, we assumed Walter Hermann was in the league as a favor to Manu Ginobili (e.g. Fabricio Oberto), but Hermann Munster looked unusually polished for a player that's been DNP-CD'ed 30+ times this year. He was scoring off the drive, shooting off the dribble, and making everyone (including himself) look foolish with that one-handed Jordan pump fake. I'm not sure what his true position is, but seeing that Josh Boone was 9 for 9 against him at one point, I'm guessing it's not power forward.
Charlotte clawed their way to a two point lead with 5 seconds to go, but the victory was pulled off the table when Vince Carter turned Jason Kidd's desperation airball into an impossible NBA Jam-style reverse alley-oop dunk that left the crowd quieter than a mime fight. The Bobcats backs were broken, and were easily dispatched in OT.
The Charlotte Bobcats season is a heartwarming tale about a team that gets repeatedly punched in the face. Sure, this was one of countless losses, but if I feel compelled to tell you that Charlotte played awesome and Jake Voskuhl and Brevin Knight combined for 29 points, I'll chalk this up as a moral victory.